Duchess Utsav, the annual shopping extravaganza organised by The Duchess Club, was inaugurated by starlets Poornima Bhagyaraj and Suhasini Maniratnam, at the Savera on Tuesday. Sujatha Mundhra, a prominent member of the ladies’ club said, “Loads of the designers here are exhibiting for the first time. There have been many who had first exhibited in this event and then gone on to become big in the market.”
With 80 stalls selling everything from lifestyle products to clothes and accessories, the 12th edition of Dutchess Utsav had all the right ingredients to lure women, young and old. Nina reddy, executive director, Savera Hotels, and a Duchess club member, said, “Our aim is to encourage young designers to come up and also provide a platform for established ones.”
The Masaba Gupta Neon saris and Anarkalis by Kalaniketan were showcased by models who walked the ramp amid a cheering lot of women. The claps grew louder when socialite Sneha Nair walked the ramp in her black velvet cocktail sari. The claps soon made way for whistling when the Duchess club members, including Nina Reddy and Sujatha Mundhra, sashayed down the ramp.
What made the audience appreciate the intricate zari borders and prints better, was an enlightening talk by Sabita Radhakrishna, member of the Crafts Council of India and a textile expert. “The traditional kasavu sari from Kerala is a sign of fertility and in the past if a man handed it over to a woman, it is equal to them being married,” she said, in a talk peppered with trivia. If the talk upped the knowledge, the collection at the stalls upped the craving. Among the unique items displayed were a 100-year-old glass painting by the Ravi Verma Tanjore Company, the neon Karachi work at Pakistan-based Redz, and a wedding trousseau and personalised wedding cards by Addict and Two tones.